Boarding & Riding

How do I get the bus to stop for me?

You may board an MTD bus at any bus stop sign along its scheduled route. Each bus stop sign represents a designated stop and all boardings and alightings take place at designated stops. While MTD Operators make every effort to operate on schedule, please remember that traffic and other factors may affect arrival times. To ensure that you catch your bus, make sure that you’re at your stop a few minutes before it is scheduled to depart and keep an eye on the real-time info at the stop, on the web, or on your favorite app. When your bus is arriving, give the Operator a wave to let them know you'll be boarding their bus.

Ok, the bus stopped. Now what?

Once the bus has come to a stop and the door opens, step on. The Operator will kneel the bus or extend the ramp upon request if you need help boarding the bus.

After paying your fare, please sit in the first available seat, keeping in mind that the first few seats may be reserved for those with special needs. If no seats are available, please stand in the area by the rear door and secure yourself. You should only stand near the front if the bus is full, and always behind the white line painted just behind the Operator’s seat.

What if I need to transfer to another bus?

When you board the bus, let the Operator know the route you’re transferring and ask for a free transfer slip to and where that transfer will be made, so that he or she can contact your connecting bus and inform the other Operator. Once the connecting Operator has been contacted, he or she will be required to wait up to two minutes past the scheduled departure time at the transfer location. Every effort will be made to assist passengers in completing transfers without significantly delaying service to others.

How do I let the Operator know when I want to get off the bus?

When you’re about half a block from your destination, pull the yellow cord that runs along the window to request a stop. The Operator will stop the bus at the next safely accessible, designated stop and open the doors.

The Operator has stopped at my destination—what do I do now?

Please use the rear door to exit the bus when other passengers are waiting to board. Use the front door if you need the Operator to kneel the bus or extend the ramp. When exiting the bus, watch for traffic and use caution. For your own safety, never walk in front of the bus.

What if I feel unsafe on a bus? What should I do?

Safety is MTD's number one priority and we have policies and procedures in place to ensure it. If you witness an unsafe action (or have another complaint) on an MTD vehicle or at any MTD property, you can report it via our feedback form or by calling 217.384.8188. All complaints are logged and investigated, and we use the resulting information to improve our service and identify retraining opportunities.

If another passenger is making you feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or afraid, please let your Operator know by moving to the front of the bus and speaking to them directly. Operators can reach out to our Control Center, call for an MTD Supervisor, gain assistance from other authorities, or otherwise assist you.

If you witness an emergency or are in need of immediate assistance and can not or do not feel comfortable letting your Operator know, call or text 9-1-1 and provide METCAD with as much information as possible. The 4-digit bus number for the vehicle you're traveling in can be found by looking at the center front of the bus, just above the Operator's windshield (if facing front).

Your safety and security are critical to us, and we need your help to know if there are areas in which we can improve. Providing as much information as possible when reporting an incident helps MTD's investigation process, including the bus route, direction of travel, date and time,

I'm the parent of a middle or high school student. How do I figure out which bus my child takes to school?

Planning a school trip just got so much easier with Simply choose the destination from a list of Champaign or Urbana Middle or High Schools and type in a starting address. When you click "See your trips," our system will automatically factor in start and end times for the chosen school and map a door-to-door trip for you that includes walking instructions to the designated stop nearest to that address.

It takes seconds and is even easier than it sounds. Try our school trip planner today. Questions? Give us a call at 217.384.8188.

Wait, I don't have to drive to Illini Football games? Tell me more about tranSPORT!

MTD serves all home Illini Football games with our 280 tranSPORT routes. No more trying to find parking near the game, just park and ride for easy access. Find out more about each available route & plan your trip:

Can I smoke inside a bus shelter? Can I smoke at Illinois Terminal?

All MTD facilities and grounds, including Illinois Terminal, are smoke and tobacco free. This includes but is not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, marijuana, electronic devices (like e-cigarettes, vape pens, or e-cigars), and chewing tobacco. To allow passengers to safely board and alight buses, smoke and tobacco products are not to be used at or within 15 feet of entrances, exits, windows, or ventilation systems for all MTD spaces, which includes our vehicles, bus stops, benches, shelters, parking lots, and facilities.

Do you have basic safety tips for passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians?

Yes, safety is a top priority at MTD, but we need your help too because safety is everyone’s responsibility. There are a few simple things you can do to contribute to public safety when you’re on foot, cycling, and riding.


When you're on foot, don’t just bumble around like a drone -- be respectful of others on the road. Stay on the sidewalk whenever possible. Do not text and walk. If you’re walking at night, take a flashlight or reflector. Look left-right-left at intersections. Only cross at crosswalks. Cross the street after vehicles leave the intersection. Wear bright and reflective colors to keep yourself visible.

If you're biking, it’s sometimes easy to forget the rules of the road. With some basic cycling principles you can stay safe and keep others safe, too. Remember: the rules of the road apply to you too. Watch your blind spots. Pay attention for opening car doors. Make sure your bike lights and reflectors are on and working. It’s the law. Remember that one-way streets apply to cyclists.

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